ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --
The Robins Community Action Team hosted its second annual Teen Leadership Summit at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, June 3.
“The purpose of this event is to engage our teenage population in leadership training, while incorporating resilience and prevention initiatives, which the Air Force has stressed as high priority across every installation,” said Erica Colick, Robins Integrated Prevention and Resilience Program Office Community Support Coordinator.
Colick said the summit invites freshmen and sophomore children of active duty, civilians and contractors to network with other teens to learn, practice, and implement resilience and wellness skills while having fun.
The Robins Chapel and Integrated Prevention and Resilience Office provided support to the CAT for this year’s summit.
The Robins CAT provides a comprehensive umbrella of care for the people of Robins Air Force Base, through a combination of various helping agencies who deliver responsive community care through proactive and coordinated programs and services.
“The teens are able to learn about the multiple agencies, which can assist them and their families,” said Colick. “They can also familiarize themselves with leadership skills and how to assist others during times of need.”
A variety of workshops were available for the teens to attend such as “Chart your Course,” which helps students plan their journey through high school into college. Other workshops discussed dating challenges, budgeting and anger management. Also, each attendee had the opportunity to become “safeTALK” certified.
SafeTALK is a suicide prevention awareness skills course that teaches signs of suicidal tendencies and how to respond and/or intervene.
“It’s really important that the teens are taking different classes,” said Jena Branch, summit attendee and mental health student representative for the through the county school system. “We all have different weak spots that we all need to work on, and this summit happens to be what I need.
“This summit will even strengthen the areas you are good at, too, like taking the safeTALK class,” she continued. “To be certified would be incredible and good for me as someone who calls themselves a mental health advocate.”
Branch said she really cares about mental health and would like to go into social work and social advocacy for a non-profit.
“My heart lives to help other people and to work with them, and that’s my biggest thing,” she said. “I really want to be able to connect people to resources, not only to help myself, but to be able to connect them to people who will be able to give them further help.”
The summit will also help the teens prepare for college.
“The Teen Leadership Summit is a great college resume builder since it demonstrates leadership initiatives,” said Colick. “Teens are able to network with other teens affiliated with our very diverse base population.”
Colick said a lot of planning went into organizing this free event.
“We are so fortunate to have funding from the Robins Chapel, which paid for all the snacks, drinks and lunches,” she said. “The feedback from the teens conveying how much they have learned, how many new friends they have made, and how much fun they had makes it worth it and we can’t wait to do it all over again next year”